Experts have blamed political immaturity and a flawed electoral system for rampant poll violations in local elections throughout the country. “The country’s poor electoral justice system has allowed opportunists to commit violations. This trend has persisted since the first direct local election in 2005. I have seen no significant efforts either by the government or the House of Representatives to fix the problem,” Hadar Nafiz Gumay of the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro) said.
The General Elections Monitoring Body (Bawaslu) announced last week that it received 1,718 reports of poll violations in 92 local elections in 2011. The majority of the reports concerned finances related to politics. Hadar said that direct local elections were not problems in themselves.
“Direct local elections are necessary in a democratic state. To address these problems, we should focus on improving the system for organizing elections, including the institutions and their legal umbrellas,” Hadar said.
He also called on the government and the House to treat the amendment process of regional elections as a means to improve local elections instead of meeting the demands of certain political groups.
The bill, which some have considered controversial for containing the provision that governors will be no longer directly elected, is expected to be ready for deliberation next year.
Analysts considered that it was too early for Indonesia to have direct local elections, particularly given the limited resources to handle and monitor the process.
Critics also claimed that local elections were also too expensive.